Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are two similar minimally-invasive procedures that strengthen the vertebrae of your spine and significantly improve acute painful spine fractures. We perform these procedures on outpatients or inpatients under conscious sedation and typically without general anesthesia. Both procedures work very well for painful fractures.
Vertebroplasty is an outpatient technique that involves injecting acrylic cement with a biopsy needle into the fractured painful vertebra. The needle is placed with X-ray guidance for proper placement. The acrylic cement quickly dries and forms a support structure within the vertebra that provide stabilization and strength. The needle makes a small puncture in your skin that is easily covered with a small bandage after the procedure. For comfort, patients are given local anesthesia and light sedation for the procedure.
Kyphoplasty is also referred to balloon-assisted vertebroplasty. In Kyphoplasty, balloons are inflated in the fractured vertebral body and hopefully restore some of the height lost of that vertebral body by the fracture. It makes a space in the center of the vertebrae where acrylic cement can be injected with very close fluoroscopic control. If height is improved, the alignment of the spine may also be improved.
You will be monitored for up to 30 minutes after the procedure. It is possible that you can start walking an hour after the procedure. You may feel some soreness where the needle entered your back, but this lasts no more than a few days. You may quickly notice that you have less pain than you did before the surgery. Limit your activity during the first 24 hours after the procedure. You will likely be able to return to activity or work the day after the surgery. You will feel a dull soreness on the area where the needle went through. While this normally goes away on its own after a few days, you can apply ice on the area to numb the soreness. When you are ready to leave, the staff will give you discharge instructions. Please note, you must have someone available to drive you home and should not drive a car until the next day.